The Charlottesville 29

If there were just 29 restaurants in Charlottesville, what would be the ideal 29?

Category: Five Finds on Friday

Five Finds on Friday: Jamie Barrett

Barrett

CSA Farm Share season is here, and today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Jamie Barrett of Bellair Farm, which still has a few of this year’s CSA Farm Shares available. Short for “Community Supported Agriculture,” a CSA involves members paying for several months of a farm’s produce for the growing season early in the year, in shares. Once harvesting begins, each week members stuff their bags full of the farm’s current best fresh-picked produce. Bellair offers shares in two sizes, with five different pick-up locations around town. Details here. Barrett’s picks:

1) Shan City Chicken from Peter Chang’s.  “I love everything at Peter Chang’s but this dish is always part of my out-of-control take out order. Salty, spicy and perfectly crisped bits of chicken surrounded by chili peppers. I always try to taste just a little on the ride home and end up slopping the whole thing up by hand while I drive. It’s a spectacle.”

2) Cabrito Tacos Mexican Style with hot salsa from La Michoacana. “It’s so good and it’s hot enough to make me hiccup. I eat 4 of these on the ride back to the farm. See, there’s a theme.”

3) Bloody Mary at Hamiltons’. “This is my wife, Kelly’s, favorite Charlottesville restaurant. A Bloody Mary is like a whole farm season crammed into a glass with vodka and anyone who’s been through a farm season knows that a little vodka never hurt. It’s got the right amount of grit and pep without being over the top.”

4) Bellissima Pizza at Dr. Ho’s. “This is a farm crew favorite and on special occasions we’ll make the trek over there together, us and about ten pounds of Bellair dirt. We’re a motley crew but the folks at Dr.Ho’s have always treated us right.”

5) Creamed Spinach at Downtown Grille. “I’m a sucker for creamed spinach and I love the big booths at the bar here. My three girls and I like to sit in the booths and watch people walk on the mall. They love the Shirley Temples.”

dr hos

Five Find on Friday: Melissa Stefaniak

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Melissa Stefaniak, founder of Single Baked Sweets, a new Charlottesville-based company making single-serve, bake-at-home dessert kits, like chocolate chip cookies and s’mores pie. All kits come with pre-measured dry ingredients in bakeware and simple instructions. Shop at www.singlebakedsweets.com. Stefaniak’s picks:

1) Cheeseburger at Jack Brown’s Beer & Burger Joint. “The ultimate comfort food to me is a simple, delicious cheeseburger and Jack Brown’s does not disappoint. Soft bun, melty cheddar cheese and wagyu beef patty – nothing else needed. Add a side of their Jack Brown’s sauce and it becomes a new addiction. Pairs well with a draft beer and good company.”

2) Chocolate Almond Croissant at MarieBette. “I’m not even a huge almond fan, but this pastry is one of my favorites in the world. Classic flaky, buttery croissant with a surprisingly sweet almond paste and chocolate center, topped with powdered sugar. It’s divine, indulgent and oh so sophisticated.”

3) S’mores Bread Pudding at Oakhart Social. “Not even sure where to begin to describe my own surprise, delight and gleeful satisfaction with this dessert. Nothing like what you would expect and 100 times better than your wildest dream. It’s deconstructed bread pudding. Puffy, fried dough, meets chocolate, meets brûléed marshmallow peaks and puppy chow crunch. Don’t order one to share, you’ll regret it – order one just for you because it’s so worth it.”

4) Chicken Wings at Doma. “You can get them in a variety of yummy flavors, and I recommend you order at least 20 in a variety of sauces. All are delicious, crispy and crave-able. Stay also for their dolsot bibimbap – full of fresh flavors and crispy rice.”

5) Orange Wines at Tavola. “Great atmosphere and great food, but what I love is their wine selection. If you haven’t tried one of their orange wines, it’s a must. Not only is orange on brand with UVa (wahoowa), but it’s a unique take on classic varietals. Perfect for sipping and enjoying the local scene.”

Almond

Chocolate Almond Croissants at MarieBette

Five Finds on Friday: Maya Hood White

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Today’s Five Finds on Friday come from Maya Hood White, Early Mountain Vineyards Associate Winemaker and Viticulturalist, who will be part of a special guided tasting this Monday, April 29 at Market Street Wine. She and Early Mountain Winemaker Ben Jordan will take guests through a series of rare, small batch wines from Early Mountain and Lightwell Survey, including Maya’s pet nats like Early Mountain White Pétillant Naturel 2018 Malvasia and Early Mountain Red Pétillant Naturel 2018 Blaufränkisch. You can even buy the rare wines on site. Details and full lineup for this unusual opportunity. Call (434) 202-0511 for your slot. White’s picks:

1) Patatas Rancheras at Little Star. “I know I will love just about any (vegetarian) dish that Ryan Collins at Little Star makes, but the Patatas Rancheras is one of my absolute favorites. It’s a tad spicy from the ranchera sauce, with the aioli cooling it down and the potatoes are always perfectly cooked and crispy. I don’t think I could ever eat at Little Star without ordering this.”

2) Marinara D.O.C. at Lampo. “I grew up vegetarian and my mother is a vegan, so I’m pretty familiar with scanning menus to see what I can eat. Aside from the many delicious reasons to love Lampo, it is one of the places that you can easily have an amazing vegan meal without even realizing it. Their Marinara D.O.C. pizza has notably few and straightforward ingredients, but they come together in the most perfect way.”

3) Fried and Raw Brussels Sprouts (made vegetarian) at Brasserie Saison. “The first time I ate at Brasserie Saison, I ordered this salad, and have ordered it nearly every time since. The texture of the raw and fried leaves is great, but what really makes the salad is the sun-dried tomato marmalade. It is slightly sweet to balance out the acid of the tomatoes and a great complement to the earthy Brussels sprouts.”

4) Tofu Red Curry with Broccoli at Thai 99 II. “Thai 99 II, luckily for me, is on my way home, so it is definitely my most frequented takeout spot, with the Tofu Red Curry being my favorite dish.  I’m somewhat obnoxiously picky about bell peppers, and they are are always very accommodating about swapping out the peppers with broccoli. Their tofu is always light and fluffy, and the curry wonderfully rich and concentrated.”

5) Rinse and Re-Beet at The Juice Laundry. “I’ve always loved carrot juice, but the addition of beet and cucumber makes this my favorite at The Juice Laundry. Their juices are cold pressed, organic and very flavorful. If I feel a cold coming on, I’ll grab one of their fire shots and drink it with this juice and keep my fingers crossed.”